'Bone Up' On Wise Winter Weather Practices For Your Pet
North American Precis Syndicate
Lucky loves to romp in the snow. Remember to check your pet's paws, ears and tail after some outdoor winter fun.
(NAPSI)—Notwithstanding their fur coats, pets can feel the cold just as
humans do. So it's up to you to ensure that your furry friends stay safe and
warm during the colder months.
To help, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the international
trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and
utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, offers these tips:
• Know your pet. Different pets
have different levels of tolerance for cold. When going out for walks, a
short-coated, elderly or frail dog may need a jacket to weather the elements.
• Forgo haircuts. Let your dog's
winter coat protect him against the chill. Save shearing for warmer months.
• Check ears, paws and tails
regularly. You're looking for signs of frostbite or raw spots from ice
and snow. Remove any clumps of frozen debris from between the paw pads each
time your dog goes outside.
• Wipe down your pet's belly, legs
and paws. Have a clean towel ready each time your dog comes inside to
remove ice-melting chemicals, which can irritate and cause serious illness if
licked or swallowed.
• Clean up antifreeze spills.
Due to the sweet smell and taste, pets will lick or drink antifreeze if they
find it puddled on sidewalks or garage floors—but
antifreeze is toxic to cats and dogs. Clean up spills and consider using a
brand made from propylene glycol, which is less toxic.
• Keep the water flowing.
Dry winter weather can be dehydrating, as well as freezing. Keep a fresh
supply of water inside for your pet and break up any ice accumulation on her
outdoor water bowl.
• Provide a warm place to rest.
Winter days can be drafty and cold, so ensure your pet has plenty of elevated
places inside to warm up. A cozy pet bed works beautifully.
• Leave Fido
at home. You've probably heard a lot about the dangers of leaving a pet
in a hot car during the summertime, but the practice can be just as hazardous
in the winter. It's always best to leave your dog at home when you're running
• Keep them leashed. More pets
get lost during the winter than any other time of the year. Snow covers
familiar scents, making it harder for your dog to find his way home. Keep
your dog on a leash when you're out and about and make sure his tag and
microchip information are up-to-date in case he escapes.
"Our TurfMutt environmental education
stewardship program encourages people and pets to get outside, and my dog
Lucky loves to romp in fresh snow as much as the next dog," said Kris Kiser,
president and CEO of OPEI. "But during the wintertime we have to be careful
about when and how we expose our pets to the elements. Even though pets must
go outdoors periodically to do their 'business' and
get some exercise, no pet should be left outdoors during the winter months—if
it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet."
For further information about the benefits of your family lawn for pets
and people during all seasons, go to www.SaveLivingLandscapes.com
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)